Saturday, January 21, 2017

So Who's In Control?

Romans 8
5 Those who are dominated by the sinful nature think about sinful things, but those who are controlled by the Holy Spirit think about things that please the Spirit. 6 So letting your sinful nature control your mind leads to death. But letting the Spirit control your mind leads to life and peace. 7 For the sinful nature is always hostile to God. It never did obey God’s laws, and it never will. 8 That’s why those who are still under the control of their sinful nature can never please God.

9 But you are not controlled by your sinful nature. You are controlled by the Spirit if you have the Spirit of God living in you. (And remember that those who do not have the Spirit of Christ living in them do not belong to him at all.) 10 And Christ lives within you, so even though your body will die because of sin, the Spirit gives you life because you have been made right with God. 11 The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you. And just as God raised Christ Jesus from the dead, he will give life to your mortal bodies by this same Spirit living within you

Most of us like to be in control. It is a basic part of our nature, and Paul would chock that up to "our sinful nature", which we all have. When someone has to be in control all the time, we call them a "control freak". As Paul continues to describe what the Christian life looks like for the new believer, he focuses on who's in control. Paul states that there are two forces pitted against each other. One, our sinful nature, which still lurks in us and is always trying to dominate our thoughts. But, he also tells the new believers that they now have the Holy Spirit, who lives inside of them. And then he further defines the Spirit, as the Spirit of Christ. Paul states that those who allow the Spirit to control their thoughts will live in peace and please God. Whereas, someone who is controlled by the sinful nature can never please God.

So who is in control of your life? How would you know? The bible tells us the fruits of the Spirit are, "love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness and self control." So how do we know if we are living a life controlled by the Spirit? Do you experience these fruits in your life on a fairly consistent basis. Or, is your life filled with the opposite: joylessness, anxiety, short temper, and an out of control lifestyle. You can see there is a big difference in quality of life.

And this aligns with what Jesus said, "I have come to give you life and life abundantly!" The way to experience the life you've always wanted, is to live by the Spirit, who lives in you. Those who believe in Jesus as their Lord and Savior are promised the gift of the Holy Spirit. Paul ends by saying, "And just as God raised Christ Jesus from the dead, God will give life to your mortal bodies by this same Spirit living within you." Who will you be controlled by this week?

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